Christmas break activities with kids in London

Once all the ho ho ho’ing has calmed down and the initial rush of new toy joy has subsided you’ll need ideas for activities to do with kids this Christmas break in London. Here are a few school break activity ideas for you and your family to check out as we move into the New Year.

V&A Gingerbread City and Dance Show

If they’re excited by a gingerbread house just imagine the amazement when they see a gingerbread city! The V&A’s sweet metropolis consists of over 60 gingerbread buildings designed and created by architects, designers and engineers. If you’re there on the 28-30th check out the museum’s Buildy-uppy Dance Show, an interactive theatrical adventure for all the family by the performance group Anatomical.

When: Gingerbread city open until 6 Jan; Dance show 28-30 Dec, starting at 11.00, 13.00 & 15.00.
Where: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Ages: all
Cost: Gingerbread £6 advanced booking recommended. Dance Show is free.
More info: website

The Elves and the Shoemaker

An old shoe maker is amazed when he awakes one morning to discover his work has been magically finished. Who could his mysterious midnight helpers be? Using storytelling and inventive shadow puppetry theatre company Skewbald bring this tale to life.

When: Through 5 Jan
Where: Stanley Halls, 12 S Norwood Hill, SE25 6AB
Ages: 3+ recommended
Cost: £10
More info: website

Ice Skating

London’s many ice rinks stay open well into January so if you haven’t had a chance to zip, twirl, stomp, or cling-to-the-wall around one of the amazing rinks yet, there’s still time!

Check out our guide to ice skating rinks in London and give it a go.

Tate Britain Super Slugs and a Sonic Tour

Outside the museum don’t miss what’s possibly the best kid photo opp in London right now – Giant LED lit leopard slugs made from compostable materials. Inside kids can go on a listening adventure with local families to discover the 1910 gallery. A sonic tour connects artworks in the gallery with a story about a flooded village where multiple languages are spoken.

When: Sonic tour; 27-30 Dec, 11am-4pm. Slugs in situ until 28 Feb.
Where: Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Ages: all
Cost: free
More info: website

The Snowman

Based upon the book by Raymond Briggs, this performance will transport the family to a wintery world where a boy frolics with his magical snowman. A mix of dance, storytelling, splendid sets and music performed by a live orchestra.

When: Runs until Jan 6
Where: Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT
Cost: £15-£38
Ages: all
More info: website

New Year’s Eve Party for Families at Southbank Centre

A New Year’s Eve party at 11.30… in the morning. Yes, with kids the party times certainly shift a bit. Southbank Centre is hosting a fete the whole family can enjoy, featuring ex-music hall singer turned hip-hop goddess Ida Barr. This will be a celebration of world-wide New Year’s Eve traditions, with sing-songs, dancing and traditions from around the globe.

When: 31 Dec, 11.30am. Run time approx 135 min.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX
Ages: all
Cost: Free
More info: website

Wow! It’s Night-time

A sequel to Little Angel Theatre’s popular production of WOW! Said the Owl. The curious little owl is back, and this time she’s ready to discover the wonders of night-time. But where are all the other owls? When the wind blows the leaves from her tree, you’ll soon see.

When: Runs until 27 Jan
Where: Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, N1 2DN
Ages: 2-5 recommended
Cost: £13.50 adults, £11.50 children (age 1 – 15) and concessions
More info: website

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